Diné Handmade Coin Silver Letter Opener

C4445-14-letter.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Silver Objects
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: coin silver
  • Size: 6” long x ½” wide
  • Item # C4445.14
  • Price: $695

This early 1900s coin silver letter opener is filled with stamped symbols to appeal to collectors desiring authentic “Indian” items.  These authentic Indian items had no part in the lives of Native Americans but were made for the non-Indian market.  Their appeal, and ties to Indians, was the symbols stamped on the item, symbols that evoked Native culture: eagles, arrows, snakes, and swastikas.

Native artists were encouraged to use symbols that were normally associated with Native culture.  Tourists, and even local New Mexico residents, eagerly collected such items for use in their homes.  Many wealthy Easterners would devote a room in their Victorian home to Indian items—clothing, weapons, pottery, baskets, and other items.  A letter opener would proudly be displayed near the incoming mail.

Stamped designs on the handle of this letter opener are eagles, swastikas, arrows, and crescents.  The back side is devoid of any decorations.


Condition: this Diné Handmade Coin Silver Letter Opener is in very good condition

Provenance: from the collection of a gentleman from Colorado

Recommended Reading: The Native American Curio Trade in New Mexico by Jonathan Batkin

Relative Links: Diné of the Navajo NationSouthwest Indian Jewelry: Silver Objects

Diné Handmade Coin Silver Letter Opener
Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Silver Objects
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: coin silver
  • Size: 6” long x ½” wide
  • Item # C4445.14
  • Price: $695

C4445-14-letter.jpgC4445-14-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.